Staff Lists: Records of the Summer

It’s widely accepted common-knowledge these days that every year has a “song of the summer.” What is it this year? Who knows! Probably that one people made dancing videos to, not our concern in this particular column. More importantly, and more locally, what was the record of the summer within the four wall of Sonic Boom Records!!

So as a requiem for the vanished summer of 2018 we’ve prepared a countdown of the most played records of the season at our shop. How you ask? Well, we’ve been running a really fun experiment, posting EVERY SINGLE record we play in the store over on our @SonicBoomSpins twitter account, so it’s easy to go back and see what records we played all summer. That’s exactly what we did, because we’re nerds. Here’s a countdown of the ten most played records in the shop from solstice to equinox.

First off, honorable mentions. We had many many records tied right outside the top-ten, so shout out to Nothing, Ben Pirani, Gillian Welch, Gaz Coombes, Mulatu Astatke, Jenn Champion, Thee Oh Sees, and Curtis Mayfield.

10. La Luz Floating Features

La Luz might have left Seattle behind, but Seattle’s still going to spin their records. Because they rule!

9. The Internet Hive Mind

We’ve been trying to tell you however we can that this record rules. It’s a play anytime, all the time, kind of record. Perfectly summery and funky and smooth and propulsive and great!!

8. Jon Hopkins Singularity

Sometimes we’ve got to calm down, we are at work, this one is a great record for decompressing. Cosmic electronic music that centers the mind. Very high quality.

7. African Scream Contest 2

A sequel that stands with the original. A record chock full of totally unheard, impossibly rare, West African psych-funk. This sounds so fresh despite mostly dating from forty plus years ago. For those globally curious, this is an A+ collection.

6. Tomberlin At Weddings

Tomberlin’s debut At Weddings has to be one of the most promising debuts of the year so far. It’s so full of feeling, Stereogum puts it well: “At Weddings is a deep and cutting album, an album full of lacerating self-doubt and stifled longing.”

5. Wimps Garbage People

Yeah, they literally played in our store. But Garbage People got plenty of spins in the store otherwise too. They are a very Seattle version of what a great, funny, and smart punk band can be in 2018.

4. Mitski Be The Cowboy

We’d been waiting to hear Be The Cowboy for a while, and once we did we couldn’t keep it off the stereo. This was a critics darling too, Pitchfork calls it her best and the New York Times says: “She embraces the possibilities of full-scale pop — not to formularize her emotions, but to give them an even larger canvas. It’s exactly the right choice.”

3. Black Belt Eagle Scout Mother Of My Children

This one is the product of a Washington native with roots going all the way back. Unfamiliar? Get to know her in our column First Last & Favorite. Late summer release too, so you know it’s in heavy rotation.

2. Jim James Uniform Distortion

The My Morning Jacket mastermind has made a formidable solo catalog at this point on his lonesome. We’ve got to say that it’s suited for the sweaty months of summer.

1. John Coltrane Both Directions At Once

We truly could not get enough of a totally legit lost session from one of the absolute masters of jazz. What makes a great record? One you can play to death and still want to hear the next day. This is one of those!